Angela D.’s Answer
This is a great question. First off, there are four universities in South Dakota that have engineering degrees, so you won't need to pay out-of-state-tuition if you choose them. You can always attend another university elsewhere, knowing that financial aid may need to chime in. Your parents will need to fill out a FAFSA anyway (which is a free student aid application - https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa...please see more helpful links below). I've listed the SD universities below as well.
Next, you need to take what are called prerequisite courses in high school to prepare you for a degree such as this. Some suggestions are: Calculus (AP preferred), Statistics (AP preferred), Physics (Calculus based and AP is preferred), Computer Science Courses, Engineering or Design Courses, and Robotics Courses. I would suggest shadowing and/or interviewing an engineer. You school counselor may be able to assist with contacts in the community as well as guide your course taking in high school.
Also, you need to decide what type of engineering you like. Please see the following website: https://typesofengineeringdegrees.org/
I used to work part-time at a major engineering firm as a receptionist/assistant when I was going to college. The engineers would travel to inspect job sites, deal with a lot of blueprints, soil, water, and EIR (Environmental Impact) reports, hold meetings, go on field trips to look over equipment and supplies, engage in testing and experimenting on metals in particular, and attend conferences for professional development. Most of them had assistants to help and perhaps you may be able to intern/volunteer at a company or university to explore your interests further.
Wishing you the best, be brave and enjoy the journey, best, Dr. B
- South Dakota State University
- South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
- Black Hills State University
- Augustana (private)
Angela D. recommends the following next steps:
- Research your interests within engineering.
- Shadow and/or interview an engineer.
- Explore your in-state and out-of-state options for college.